Florida’s car insurance laws sometimes restrict the right to sue. If you have the required no-fault coverage that you are supposed to have, that will cover much of your damages. But what about getting compensation from an uninsured driver who hit you?
The insurance you have under Florida law covers your own injuries, meaning that you will typically use your own insurance to get damages after a crash. If you want to file an injury claim against the other driver, whether or not they have insurance will not affect that right. However, insurance rules might prevent you from filing a lawsuit for pain and suffering unless you meet certain thresholds for injury.
For help with your car accident case, call the Ft. Lauderdale car accident attorneys at The Law Offices of David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer. Dial (954) 866-1750 for a free review of your potential case.
No-Fault Insurance Laws in Florida
Every driver is required to carry no-fault insurance in Florida. If you do not have insurance, you could be ticketed and face fines. No-fault insurance policies cover you after an accident, meaning that you do not need to rely on the at-fault driver to get your damages covered. Moreover, this means that it should not make a practical difference to you when it comes to claiming damages for injury against an uninsured driver. However, the damages that you can claim through your own no-fault insurance are limited, so lawsuits often need to be issued to get additional damages like pain and suffering.
Our Florida car accident lawyers can help you determine what is covered under your no-fault policy and how to make a claim against this coverage. If you have insurance and the other driver does not, that will not hurt your ability to claim these damages since these are paid out of your own policy.
Note that, in Florida, most drivers are not required to carry insurance to cover someone else’s damages that they cause in a crash. This “liability” insurance is only required for property damage for most drivers. However, taxi drivers are also required to carry bodily injury liability insurance, potentially giving you another route to access damages.
What this means for your case is that the other driver will not typically have insurance that you can file a claim with to cover your injuries. Instead, you will generally have to sue to recover additional compensation not covered under your own no-fault policy. Our Boca Raton car accident lawyers can help with this claim.
Coverage for Uninsured Accidents in Florida
After a crash, you can typically rely on your own no-fault insurance to cover some of your damages and expenses. Specifically, no-fault policies in Florida must cover up to $10,000 worth of your damages under Fla. Stat. § 627.736. These benefits cover up to 80% of your medical bills and 60% of your lost wages. That means that your economic damages will not be paid in full through a no-fault claim, as only a percentage is covered and deductibles must be met. Additionally, you cannot sue for non-economic damages like pain and suffering.
When your damages go above and beyond these limits, you can instead sue the at-fault driver for the rest of your damages. If your injuries meet certain “serious injury” requirements, then you can also sue for pain and suffering, mental anguish, and other non-economic damages. For this to happen, your injuries must include one of the injuries listed under Fla. Stat. § 627.737(2):
- Permanent damage to “an important bodily function”
- A permanent injury (beyond scarring)
- “Significant” scarring/disfigurement
The death of a loved one also qualifies, allowing the surviving family to file a lawsuit.
In a lawsuit, our South Florida car accident attorneys can help you recover the remainder of your damages whether the other driver had insurance or not.
Steps to Take at the Scene of an Uninsured Accident in Florida
When you are involved in a car crash, it is important to stop your car, call 911, and exchange information with the other drivers, even if they do not have insurance information for you to collect. You should also get contact information for witnesses in case they need to testify in court on your behalf. After collecting the information you can and seeking the medical treatment you need, you should also contact our Florida car accident lawyers.
Call 911 and Get Medical Care
The immediate first thing to do after a crash is to get yourself to a safe place and call 911. If you or anyone else needs medical care, focus on getting that medical care before worrying about any evidence collection. Following all recommended treatment from EMTs and doctors is vital, as any gaps in your medical care could hurt your case. This medical care will also create a firm record of your injuries.
When you exchange information with the other drivers and witnesses at the scene, be sure not to admit fault. Instead, simply get their contact information and leave questions of fault to your attorney.
If you can, take photos of the scene and collect other information about the accident scene: lighting, weather conditions, road conditions, location of the crash, information on traffic signs and signals, and any other info you think might be helpful for your Florida car accident lawyers. You should also take pictures with your phone or a camera if you can. Make sure your photos include the vehicles, their relative positions to one another, and any damage to the cars. Also take photos of injuries if you can.
Get a Police Report
In the days following the crash, you will be able to get a copy of the police report. Calling 911 after an accident is important because your insurance company might need a copy of this report before paying your damages, and your lawyer can use the report to build your case.
Call an Attorney
Lastly, you should call our Plantation car accident lawyers for help building your case and getting compensation from your own no-fault insurance or from the uninsured driver through a lawsuit.
Call Our Florida Car Accident Attorneys for Help with Your Accident Case
After an accident with an uninsured driver in Florida, call the Miami car accident attorneys at The Law Offices of David I. Fuchs, Injury & Accident Lawyer for a free case review. Our number is (954) 866-1750.